Archive for August 2012

Purpose-Driven Jesus

In Luke 4 we read of Jesus, full of the Spirit, entering Capernaum. This included a visit to Simon’s house and the healing of his mother-in-law. After a long stretch of ministry (not to mention the temptation in the wilderness and travel from Nazareth), Jesus went into a solitary (quiet) place. The crowds followed him and begged him to come back and continue the “good stuff” he had been doing previously.

Jesus, however, knew that he needed to keep moving to other communities.  His purpose was clear.  Let’s look at it in His own words:

“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose” Luke 4:43.

Purpose-Driven Jesus.

It could have been easy (and notably popular) for him to hang out in Capernaum a while longer. He was attracting quite a following because of his miracle-working healing powers. But that was not his primary purpose.

Earlier in Luke 4 we see how Jesus applied the words of the prophet Isaiah to his primary purpose:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim…” (4:18).

Proclaim what?

  • Liberty to captives
  • Recovery to the blind
  • Freedom to the oppressed
  • God’s favor

There are a number of wonderful things that Jesus did while he was on this earth.  It would take considerable space to recount all of his anointed exploits. Nothing that Jesus did should be discounted or minimized, and yet, it would seem that he had ONE primary purpose: to preach the good news of the kingdom of God.

Purpose-Driven Jesus.

What is your primary purpose?  Of course, there will always be secondary, and wonderfully important things that you and I do.  It’s simply not possible for us to do only ONE THING – not even Jesus could stake that claim.  But it is vital for us to follow the pattern of Jesus, who constantly aligned himself to that which the Father called him to accomplish.

Like Jesus, we will find ourselves being pulled and prodded by the whim of the crowds.

How should we respond?

Graciously and intentionally:  “Thank you, but I must stay on task.  God has given me a primary purpose for my life. It is to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God. Everything else is secondary.”

Imagine what could be accomplished if we discovered our primary purpose and lived intentionally to accomplish it.

The Secular Church

Spend some time with this quote from Reggie McNeal.

As a Christian leader I find it to be upsetting.

But I also think it’s true.

 

Many Christian leaders are uncomfortable with genuine spiritual realities that involve the powerful and immediate presence of God. The truth is, many churches are more secular than the culture.  Everything that transpires in them can be explained away in terms of human talent and ingenuity. It could be a huge mistake on the church’s part to continue its pursuit of programs and methodological prowess (what ‘works’) when the world desperately seeks for God. Only when something goes on in church that can be explained as a God-thing will a spiritually-fascinated culture pause to take notice. Otherwise, those outside the church culture are not impressed with building programs and real estate acquisitions. What church culture people see as evidence of success matters little to pre-Christians.  Reggie McNeal in A Work of Heart

 

Please read it again.  Thoughts?